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UPDATED: Spilled drink blamed for bar assault that may have led to Dover man's death
Police arrested Zachary O'Neill, 24 of 12 New York St., Dover, on a first-degree assault charge.
Joshua Krantz, 24, an Epping native, and Dover resident, was found dead in his apartment by his roommates at around 11:30 a.m. Saturday.
After Krantz's death, police learned that he had been the victim of an assault while at The Page Bar and Restaurant on Hanover Street in Portsmouth on Friday night into Saturday morning.
Portsmouth Deputy Police Chief Corey MacDonald said interviews and evidence indicated that Krantz was first struck from behind and then hit repeatedly in the head,
The assault was not reported to police and Krantz declined medical attention, police said.
On Tuesday, the warrant was issued for O'Neill's arrest in connection with the beating, police said.
MacDonald said he expects the charge to be upgraded once the state medical examiner's office determines what happened to cause Krantz to suffer a skull fracture that resulted in bleeding of the brain.
That determination could take 4-6 weeks, depending on when toxicology test results are available.
O'Neill was currently out on bail on a disorderly conduct charge resulting from a fight in a parking garage, MacDonald said.
The Page restaurant and the surrounding Vaghan Mall area has been the scene of many public and violent crimes in recent years, MacDonald said.
"When you look at Portsmouth, it has well over 100 liquor licenses out there and certainly many of our issues at this point in time seem to be centered around that Vaughan Mall area," MacDonald said.
In January, the last of four suspects was sentenced in the brutal July 2011 beating of Army veteran and Purple Heart recipient Steven Bohn outside of The Page after an altercation inside.
Additional patrols and beefed-up liquor enforcement have been ordered in the area, but MacDonald said the department has limited resources.
"We can't just put a police officer inside The Page, which some people have suggested," he said. "Everybody deserves a police presence and we have a lot of responsibilities."
He said the bar is not required to report an assault and cannot be held criminally liable for the assault.
The Krantz family has asked for privacy as they prepare to bury their son, brother and friend.
Josh Krantz was a 2006 graduate of Epping High School where he played football for four years, according to an obituary. After earning an associate's degree in business management, he was working at Bottomline Technologies in Portsmouth at the time of his death.
In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations be made to the Epping/Newmarket Football Program, care of Newmarket High School.
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